Diabetic Mother’s Baby and Possible Health Problems

Diabetes is one of the most common problems in pregnancy. As it can develop during pregnancy, there are many mothers who have diabetes before pregnancy.

So, will the baby of a diabetic woman also have diabetes, will the use of insulin during pregnancy harm the baby in the mother’s womb? What are the problems that can be seen in babies of diabetic mothers? 

1. Does the use of insulin in pregnant women with diabetes harm the unborn baby?

While obstetricians are following the pregnancy, if the expectant mother has gestational diabetes and the high blood sugar level does not improve with diet, they start insulin in any week of pregnancy. Those who wonder if a diabetic mother can breastfeed should know that this treatment does not have any negative effects on breastfeeding. Mothers can safely breastfeed their babies after birth.

In mothers with type 1 or type 2 diabetes who become pregnant, oral antidiabetic treatment is discontinued under the control of an internist and blood sugar regulation is ensured with insulin. Again, these mothers can safely breastfeed their babies after birth.

2. Is there a risk of insulin passing to the baby through breast milk?

There is no such risk. Diabetic mothers can safely breastfeed their babies even if they continue to use insulin after delivery. Contrary to popular belief, we advise mothers to breastfeed their babies as soon as possible so that the baby does not have blood sugar problems.

3. Will the baby of a diabetic woman also have diabetes?

There is no such thing as a diabetic mother’s baby will have diabetes. However, the baby of a mother with type 1 diabetes may develop type 1 diabetes after a severe infection or type 2 diabetes after the age of 40 (if there is an irregular diet, obesity, etc.).

This situation is associated with the combination of some genetic factors and environmental factors, which we call normal familial HLA groups. These babies are slightly more likely to get the disease than the normal population.

4. What are the problems that can be seen in babies of mothers with diabetes?

  • Babies of diabetic mothers are of special importance in our neonatal practice. In other words, if a baby is born from a diabetic mother, the first examination is done in detail and the blood sugar in the first 24 hours is followed closely. Because the risk of hypoglycemia in the first 24 hours is higher.
  • Again, if a newborn baby was born to a mother with gestational diabetes, the risk of neonatal jaundice increases in the first 48 hours . The level of calcium in the blood may decrease and there may be associated hypocalcemic convulsions. The most common among these is low blood sugar (below 40 mg/dl), usually in the first hours after birth. In such a case, the baby may need to be followed up in the neonatal intensive care unit.
  • Some medical problems may also occur in babies whose mothers were followed for a long time with type 1 diabetes and did not develop well due to intrauterine placental insufficiency during pregnancy. Complex diseases such as sga birth, microcolon syndrome, asymmetric septal hypertrophy (heart disease) can be seen, and these require long-term follow-up.
  • Babies of diabetic mothers (gestational diabetes) are usually born macrosomic (large babies). This increases the risk of birth trauma and problems such as collarbone fractures, axillary nerve bundle traumas and inability to get reflexes in the arms may occur. Again, many problems such as congenital anomalies (microcolon syndrome, skeletal anomalies, etc.) and hypocalcemia-hypomagnesemia, polycythemia that reduces the fluidity of the blood may occur.
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